Blog Archives

Take a bite of food funding

Healthy CookingThe Newcastle Partnership have announced they are to give out £10,000 in funding as part of the Food and Health programme 2014.  Kidsgrove and Butt Lane areas are highlighted to receive this funding where there is a gap in service provision.

Applications are invited from community groups, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and Locality Action Partnerships that are able to deliver community-based Food and Health projects in order to improve access to healthy, affordable food in socio-economically disadvantaged areas.

The need for the programme has arisen through increasing health inequalities, poor access to affordable healthy food, an increasing use of food banks, and insight from local community leaders who report poor food budgeting, lack of cooking skills and food crisis situations for vulnerable individuals and families in disadvantaged areas. The overall aim of the programme is to improve health and wellbeing outcomes in relation to food and health.

The criteria to access the funding is as follows:

  • Development of healthy cooking skills
  • Budgeting – planning, buying and preparing healthy food on a budget
  • Supermarket/local food market tours to support planning, buying and preparing healthy food on a budget
  • Community food co-operatives
  • Community growing schemes
  • Sustainable food provision and supply

If you wish to apply please read the criteria document and complete the funding application form and email to

Food and Health Funding Criteria – Round 2

Food and Health Funding Application Form – Round 2


Residents to Protect Butt Lane Wildlife

Residents are set to oppose a Taylor Wimpey Development of 171 dwellings at the rear of Church Street, West Avenue.  Following a public residents meeting on Monday 16th June, residents angrily rejected claims that the Butt Lane area could take more houses without the proper highway surveys taking place on Congleton Road, Linley Road and local side streets.  Local campaigners are now in the process of putting together a petition to ensure Staffordshire County Council Highways take on board resident concerns and carry out a full and thorough road traffic survey of the local area.

In another turn of events, residents described how one third of the woodland on the site may be lost, despite Taylor Wimpey implying they would protect this space for furture generations to use.  The plans have been rigorously scrutinised and people have become alarmed.  The previous owner of the site applied for planning permission in 2011/2012 to which Natural England objected due to the badger sets and bat roosts in the woodland.  Pictures have now come to light of the badgers in the area regularly approaching the properties surrounding the site.  Dog walkers, cyclists and hikers visit the site daily and are vehemently opposed to any changes to the Woodland.  It was pointed out at the public meeting that more green space will be lost when there is still a significant amount of brownfield sites in the area.

Over 60 residents are now opposed to the site being developed in the current circumstances.  Local Councillors will keep you up to date regarding the status of the application, once it has been submitted to Newcastle Borough Council.  Below are photographs of the site set to be developed including the Woodland that Taylor Wimpey promised to protect during their consultation.  Thank you to S Williams for providing the majority of photographs.


Thank you

Butt Lane Election Results 2014

Butt Lane Election Results 2014

I am writing to thank everyone for their support over the last few months to re-elect me for the Butt Lane ward.  I wanted to carry on in my work as a Councillor and I have enjoyed fighting to gain a second term.  Every single vote made all the difference.  The Kidsgrove Labour Team and Stoke North CLP helped me knock on over 2000 doors and we spoke to hundreds of residents.  I was overwhelmed by the support I received and it was very humbling to receive over 55% of the vote.

Usually I like to thank the other parties for campaigning on local issues.  Unfortunately local UKIP ran a very dirty campaign full of personal attacks and lies.  I don’t like gutter snipe politics and neither does the general public.  Instead, people would like to hear what the candidates are going to do for the local area.  Some leaflets given out by local UKIP claimed immigrants are given advice not to defecate in the streets and claims Sheffield City Council gave out this advice is libellous.  This is the politics of fear attempting to frighten people into voting for a party on one issue, immigration.  All mainstream parties need to listen to what the general public are saying about immigration, but lets not be rash.  Lets have a proper debate on this issue with all facts and figures presented to us.  Let us remind ourselves that a local Councillor cannot stop immigration and never will.

I won this campaign on a banner of hope for our community, not an agenda of fear.  In Butt Lane and Clough Hall we are facing increasing pressure from luxury housing developers, failing to provide us with affordable housing for our young people.  We must ensure social housing and smaller properties are a large percentage of those newly built estates by using planning policy.  Whilst I recognise the need for housing, we should always look to protect our green spaces for our future generations.  I recognise that the land off Slacken Lane and Coalpit Hill continues to be seen as the green lungs of Butt Lane.  If we stand together as a community we can make sure positive changes are made to protect things that are important to us, but also deliver things that we need.  So in a few weeks time I enter the chamber to represent you and I will do my best as always.

Thank you!